JORGE BIANCHI-VIVERN Jorge Bianchi-Vivern Studio Manager B.A., M.Arch. University of Toronto With a background in architecture, urban design, and municipal politics, Jorge is a critical thinker and possesses a strong body of architecture work in both high-rise and low-rise residential projects throughout the GTA. Working with the City of Toronto's Urban Design Department, Jorge helped develop urban design guidelines for Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS). He also worked for a city councillor where he advised on municipal issues, development proposals, and planning applications. What are your thoughts on Toronto's public realm? As Toronto is rapidly becoming denser, people are starting to appreciate the value of public space more and more; however, we still need to push the envelope further and explore new ways to enhance our public realm. We need to allow for more elements such as tree-lined boulevards, plazas, and parks. In the city, not everyone has a private backyard to go to. Therefore, it is the little pockets of green space that allows dense urban living to work. What other ideas about public realm do you wish more people knew about? Materiality and scale. A varied material palette can help distinguish one space from another and help create a sense of place. Variety in the size of public spaces is also important in order to accommodate different activities and lifestyles. What's your favourite public space in Toronto and why? Berczy Park, the pie shaped public park behind the Flat Iron building in the St-Lawrence neighbourood. I love that park because you get a good view of new Toronto while standing in old Toronto. The park also embodies all the elements of what makes a good public realm. It engages the streetscape and is constantly animated with water fountains, community events, and people walking in and around the park day and night. The size of the park is relatively small in the midst of a big city, which keeps it very intimate and comfortable to be in.